Royal Palace Ruins, Bokor National Park

The first significant stop on most tours up Bokor is the ruins of the royal palace. What's left of this kingly retreat is hardly palatial. The main building of this so-called "Black Palace" is more of an ornate cottage. It's passing resemblance to a western American ranch house is probably due to a desire to maximize the view. While the side of the palace facing the road is rather blank, the other side is very open and lined with a terrace running the full length of the building. The residence is built right at the edge of the plateau, where the ground slopes steeply away. From the terrace are spectacular views of the coast, weather permitting, as well casino of the hill station off in the distance.

The ruins of the kitchen, with a curious orange lichen covering the walls.

Down a short path from the residence is a slightly larger building housing the royal kitchens, as well as a large room that probably served as the formal dining room. The window lined room also faces the ocean and even has a small terrace with fish pond out the back. The walls here, as at the palace and the hill station, are covered with a brightly orange mossy growth that gives all the buildings a sort of post-apocalyptic look.

Near the kitchens is the only other significant building, a small two-room guest house.